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Responsibilities of Office


Last Edited: October 5, 2008, 7:50 am

Seems if someone intends to occupy a position they should be clear about responsibilities of that office. 

I find this very amusing that with his umpty years in Washington he doesn't even know what the Constitution provides for .... yet he's backing up Obama's lack of experience.  But who cares the media's intends to elect 'em.

Hats off again to Powerlineblog.com.  I bold blue'd their corrections for speed scanners.

" October 3, 2008

"Biden Mangles the Constitution
Source Powerlineblog.com

"This isn't what's conventionally described as a gaffe, and it won't swing any votes, but last night Joe Biden garbled the Constitutional role of the Vice President. I wanted to read the transcript before commenting; here was Gwen Ifill's question:

Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?

Here is Biden's answer, in full:

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.

For a man of Biden's experience, this is a surprising series of misstatements. First of all, he gets wrong one of the most basic facts about the Constitution: Article 1 establishes the legislative branch, not, as Biden said, the executive branch. This is not exactly an obscure fact; my 17-year-old daughter pointed it out at the time.

Second, it simply isn't true that the Constitution treats the Vice President only as a member of the executive branch. The Vice President is mentioned in Article II as part of the executive branch, but he is also given legislative powers by Section 3 of Article 1, which establishes the Senate:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Vice President Cheney's "bizarre notion" is in keeping with the plain text of the Constitution.

Finally, Biden misstated the Vice President's role in the Senate. It isn't true that he "preside[s] over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote." The Constitution contemplates that the Vice President will be the full-time President of the Senate, replaced by a President pro tempore "in the absence of the Vice President." It's true that the Vice President only gets to vote in case of a tie; but, of course, that's the only time it matters.

If Joe Biden were a high school student taking a test on the Constitution in a government course, he would get a C or a D. Some would say his mistakes were minor, and, as I said, they certainly won't swing any votes. But it is distinctly odd that a man who has been in the Senate for more than three decades doesn't understand the Constitutional role of the Vice President with respect to that body. "


Entry #866


Rick GComment by Rick G - October 5, 2008, 11:14 am
Palin's answer was also incorrect constitutionally. The Constitution grants no "leeway" to the powers of the vice president. It is very specific. But our Constitution has been so battered recently it's apparent that very few members of congress even have a working knowledge of it. The great American experiment is over. The US has abandoned its Republic. A new phase of government has been born. We are now ruled by corporate council. There are no elections to the Council. The positions of President and Vice President are figurehead positions whose job it is to see to it that council policy is augmented.

ToddComment by Todd - October 5, 2008, 12:09 pm
@Rick G:

That's an arguable point. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with you, but there are legitimate points on both sides of Palin's argument. However, Biden's comments were just flat-out wrong. There is no valid points on his side, he just stated something totally false.

I disagree with your "figurehead" remarks, as they run completely counter to the notion of separation of powers. The President leads the Executive branch, and is the most powerful person in the world. To say he/she is a "figurehead" totally belies the facts.

The VP is also more powerful than you say, especially with a divided Senate. In fact, they make decisions in the Senate based on their knowledge of the tie-breaker vote. It's like having a spare Senator on your side.

Lastly, I think your negative comment about the "US has abandoned its Republic" just sounds like you're feeling down. That, my friend, is what the constant day-after-day pounding by the media is designed to do -- to make you feel bad about the country and its leaders, so that you will feel the need to vote for some nebulous "change" candidate that you really know nothing about.

After the election these same people who have been making you feel like crap about the country will no longer see the need to continue their OCD-like negative comments. All of the sudden, things will be better, with only the fact of people pressing buttons in voting booths being the impetus for that change. It's all an academic exercise to them, and it's our job to not fall for it.
konaneComment by konane - October 5, 2008, 12:19 pm
Thanks Rick G and Todd both for your comments. The media distorts things, presents the worst in people, skips over facts if it doesn't fit in with their agenda which is to have the US fall in lock-step behind socialist European Union.

Biden was wrong, the blog that ended Dan Rather's career called him on his false statements.
konaneComment by konane - October 5, 2008, 1:52 pm
Not related to Biden in any way ....... media reports story before checking Facts.

"CNN's Citizen Journalism Goes `Awry' With False Report on (Steve) Jobs

By James Callan

Source Bloomberg.com

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- CNN's plunge into online citizen- journalism backfired yesterday when the cable-news outlet posted what turned out to be a bogus report claiming that Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack. ........."

time*treatComment by time*treat - October 5, 2008, 3:06 pm
Anyone willing to limit themselves to the responsibilities of an office will not get elected to it.
konaneComment by konane - October 5, 2008, 3:50 pm
Thanks Time*treat!

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